Over the next two days, UCSF Medical Center will start using the Epic electronic health record for all of its inpatient care. It will be the culmination of an enormous two-year effort that has involved every part of the medical center. The Epic EHR is called “Apex” at UCSF and has been rolling out to the ambulatory practices for more than a year.
For our inpatient go-live this weekend, clinical workflows include computerized provider order entry with barcoded medication administration, all-electronic clinical documentation, and device integration from our hemodynamic monitors and mechanical ventilators. The go-live involves all of our inpatient clinical areas, including the operating rooms, critical care areas, and the emergency department. In one move, UCSF should leave the middle of the pack at Level 3 of the HIMSS EHR Adoption Model and reach the forefront at HIMSS Level 7. Our CEO, Mark Laret, today called it “the single most significant initiative we have ever undertaken at UCSF to improve the quality and safety of medical care we provide to our patients,” emphasis in the original. We’re also disconnecting our existing administrative and financial systems and replacing them with Apex, a task one of our technical directors described as “pulling out the central nervous system of the entire enterprise and replacing it”.
Over the next 48 to 72 hours, my colleagues and I will be live-blogging the events of the Apex (Epic) EHR go-live. We’ll try to present an engaging front-line description of what goes in to an EHR launch at a major academic hospital. As always the fine print will apply.